For years now, I’ve teased a treatment I wrote back in college. The assignment: create a new episode of a beloved television series. My idea: The Golden Girls go to Walt Disney World, obviously. It went over well then, but I’ve been deterred by the prospect of going back and making it suitable for public consumption. At long last, ten years later, I’ve decided just to publish the thing as I first submitted it back in 2005, mostly untouched.
Note: The assignment allowed us to disregard the shows’ original timelines and continuities, so you’ll have to overlook little anachronisms. (Obviously, the Golden ones could not have visited Coronado Springs before they went off the air — trust me, I know.)
The Golden Girls Go to Walt Disney World
Blanche, Rose, and Dorothy are talking in the living room (an opportunity for the three to exchange several jokes unrelated to the story itself). Sophia enters through the front door with the daily mail in her hands. Dorothy thumbs through the envelopes and finds a letter from Walt Disney World. She opens it to find an invitation to a national teacher’s conference, where she’ll be honored. Rose and Sophia get very excited about going to a Disney park and Blanche expresses interest as well. After a little discussion, the four enthusiastically agree to make a vacation out of it.
In the next scene, they all go shopping for vacation supplies (a brief transition scene, peppered with Disney-related jokes — a “Golden Girls” staple — and some physical comedy). Rose reveals that she has never been to a Disney park but has always wanted to since she and Charlie were forced to cancel their trip.
On the plane, Dorothy describes her excitement and sense of flattery at being honored. She cautions the others, though, that the conference consists of many events, so they’ll be on their own for much of the time. Blanche says that she’s looking forward to finding a family man in the park because she feels her motherly instinct beckoning her. Rose asks what she can expect from the resort, prompting Sophia to excitedly join in making plans with the two of them. One of the attraction descriptions reminds Rose of something once constructed in St. Olaf.
Blanche, Rose, and Sophia are in Magic Kingdom. Rose is overwhelmed by the sights and sounds while Blanche immediately begins scouting out single fathers. Sophia holds up a park map and asks them which Mountain they want to ride first, but as soon as she’s done, Blanche takes off after a man to the right and Rose chases after a Disney character on the left, leaving Sophia alone in the middle.
Meanwhile, Dorothy arrives at the Coronado Springs conference center and attempts to check in for the teaching conference. The cast member, however, has no idea what she’s referring to. A confused Dorothy is advised to check at the Grand Floridian conference center instead.
In the park, the girls approach Pirates of the Caribbean and Rose remarks that this is the latest of several attractions that seem familiar to her, saying that there once was a Pirates of St. Olaf boat ride at the St. Olaf carnival, which was put on each year by Hans Flickenvurmer. She becomes convinced that Walt Disney must have stolen his ideas from Hans, an idea that Blanche and Sophia scoff at. As they are about to board, Rose starts asking the cast member about the attraction’s history. Blanche flirts with the man behind her in line. Sophia boards the boat, but as soon as she sits down, Blanche tells the cast member that she’ll take Rose away if he lets her take the next boat instead. He agrees, and she pulls Rose toward the next boat in line, where the single father she was flirting with is boarding. Sophia is left in the first boat alone, and it takes off with her alone among strangers.
At the Grand Floridian, Dorothy is once again met with confusion when the cast members haven’t heard of the convention. Frustrated, she heads for the monorail to Magic Kingdom.
Dorothy arrives at Magic Kingdom in the next scene and, after asking a few characters about the conference, runs into Blanche, Rose, and Sophia. She tells them that she’s confused and embarrassed by not being able to find the conference and insists that she’d rather return to the hotel than ride any attractions. She leaves, while Blanche and Rose decide to ride Splash Mountain. They tell Sophia that Splash is too intense for someone of her age and that she can wait outside for them, prompting an outburst from Sophia, who has been growing visibly frustrated throughout the day due to her friends ignoring and excluding her. She storms off toward Epcot.
Dorothy returns to the hotel. Walking through the lobby, she sees Stan. Shocked, she asks what he’s doing there. He confesses that he forged the invitation in order to bring Dorothy to the resort. Dorothy is at first furious, but Stan talks her into accompanying him to the Magic Kingdom for the evening fireworks.
Several hours have passed and Sophia returns from Epcot to Magic Kingdom. She sees Dorothy with Stan and asks what Stan is doing there. Dorothy says that she wishes she knew herself, and then explains that Stan forged the invitation. Blanche and Rose walk up just in time to hear the explanation. Trying to divert the attention away from himself, Stan says that the fireworks will start soon and they need to get their place.
The gang is waiting for the fireworks in front of the castle, and Dorothy presses Stan for the real reason that he wanted her there. As soon as she asks, the lights dim and a spotlight illuminates the Castle stage. Stan pulls Dorothy by the hand and walks her up the stairs to the stage, where he proposes marriage.
Dorothy’s answer has yet to be determined, but the relationship between the two characters has been so well established throughout the series that either answer will feel organic.
As the fireworks go off, Blanche and Rose apologize to Sophia who, in a better mood thanks to fireworks and Epcot, forgives them. Blanche suggests that they all go ride Splash Mountain, Sophia included. They take off and as they do, they pass the Partners statue of Walt Disney & Mickey Mouse in front of the castle, prompting Rose to point and ask why there’s a statue of Hans Flickenvurmer in Walt Disney World.